Olympic talent graces Cougars

There are not many volleyball teams that feature four Olympians and leaves its coach thinking it might be underrated.

The Columbia College volleyball team, which starts the season ranked No. 6 in the NAIA, has three members of Kenya’s 2000 Olympic volleyball team and one member of its 2004 Olympic team playing for it.

Impressive catches drawing attention

Following a shortened practice on Sunday, as many players headed to ice down or shower, quarterback Brad Smith stayed behind to work with a pair of Missouri receivers.

Not Sean Coffey and Thomson Omboga, or Brad Ekwerekwu and Jason Ray, but Tommy Saunders and Andrew Hoskins.

MU volleyball team loosens up in scrimmage

A preseason scrimmage is for smoothing out wrinkles. So it’s a good thing the Missouri volleyball team brought plenty of wrinkles to Wednesday night’s Black and Gold scrimmage at Hearnes Center.

The gold Tigers beat the black Tigers in a shortened match at the annual scrimmage 2-1 (14-20, 20-15, 20-18), but not before the two sides played through many missed spikes, wildly tipped balls and serves into the net.

New report details prison abuses

WASHINGTON — More than two dozen soldiers and contractors attached to a military intelligence unit at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq approved or took part in abuses of Iraqi detainees, an Army investigation has found in one of the most comprehensive looks to date at the scandal that damaged America’s image around the world.

Lightning strikes down power lines

A lightning strike severed a power line overhanging Providence Road between Green Meadows and Nifong at 3:05 p.m. Wednesday.

“The lightning hit pretty close several times around here,” said Wayne Wiles, a resident near the site of the strike.

Young at Heart

For most of us, turning 99 would be remarkable. But for 98-year-old Loren Reid, it hardly seems noteworthy.

 “I’m not celebrating my 99th birthday,” he said of today’s milestone. “I’ll just push on to 100.”

Advanced technology helps fight child pornography

On Feb. 11, 2003, detectives from the Boone County Sheriff’s Department raided the home of Columbia resident Frank W. Petering, seizing computers, floppy disks and documents. Officers confiscated an estimated 80,000 pornographic images depicting children, from infants to teenagers, engaged in sexual conduct.

On Monday, Petering was convicted of promoting child pornography in what is believed to be the largest case of its kind in county history. Petering’s apprehension offers a glimpse at how law enforcement is taking advantage of legal and technological advances to combat the exponential growth in the distribution of child pornography.

Labor mediator to seal contract for bus drivers

A federal labor mediator is expected to come to Columbia in the middle of next month to resolve an ongoing contract dispute between Columbia Public Schools’ bus drivers and First Student Inc., the area’s school bus service provider, officials said Wednesday.

The district’s school bus drivers, represented by Union Local 833, rejected a new contract proposal Aug. 5 with First Student Inc., the area’s school bus service provider. The old contract expired Aug. 1.

I-70 repairs set to start today

Starting today, for the next two months some east and westbound lanes of Interstate 70 will be closed from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. The closures will extend from the Callaway and Montgomery county line east of Columbia to the I-70 and U.S. 63 interchange as part of the Missouri Department of Transportation program to upgrade safety on the interstate. Closures won’t involve more than one lane at a time in each direction.

The construction is a continuation of the guard cable installation project, tentatively scheduled to be completed in summer of 2005. It involves placing guard cables down the center of the interstate to stop crossover traffic and prevent serious crashes.

Faculty seeks precise job details

MU’s Faculty Council will hear a report today that could impact the future work life of all non-regular faculty at the university.

More than half of all faculty members at MU are considered non-regular — in general, those without tenure. MU employs about 1,100 tenured and tenure track faculty and about 1,300 non-regular faculty, according to October 2003 figures from the MU News Bureau.

One man hospitalized in collision

Two cars collided on Forum Boulevard at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, closing traffic in both directions for 40 minutes. Jeffrey Oflynn was injured in the crash and taken to University Hospital. His condition was unknown Wednesday night, but he appeared to have suffered moderate injuries, Columbia police officer Alan Hulett said. Stephen Reichlin, the other driver, was not injured.

Driving southbound on Forum, Oflynn veered his black Ford Escort into the northbound lane, colliding head-on with Reichlin’s silver Dodge Dakota pickup.

New standardized test gives more options

As if choosing schools, writing essays, signing checks and getting recommendations isn’t enough, the high school graduating class of 2006 has another worry to consider when preparing for college: taking anywhere from one to three standardized tests just to compete.

In the spring of 2005, the College Board will debut a new, longer SAT test. This leaves many juniors in a quandary as to which test to take — the old SAT, the new SAT or the ACT. While the majority of colleges require only one test, providing scores from both tests can give students a competitive edge. Taking both tests also creates options for students who have not yet determined where they want to attend college.

MU’s policy on meningitis vaccine allows for waiver

MU sophomore Meghan Lahey got her $70 meningococcal vaccine Tuesday afternoon under the impression that failing to comply with a new vaccine policy would prevent her from registering for the winter 2005 semester.

“I don’t like the policy,” Lahey said. “I felt like I was forced to get the vaccine.”

New road director to be announced

JEFFERSON CITY — Former New Mexico transportation secretary Pete Rahn is expected to be named today as Missouri’s new transportation director, The Associated Press has learned.

Rahn’s selection was confirmed Wednesday by two Missouri state officials as well as a former colleague of Rahn’s in the New Mexico Department of Transportation, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Tigers track star will miss finals for 800 meters

Former Missouri runner Derrick Peterson failed to qualify for the semifinals in the 800-meter run Wednesday in Athens, finishing fourth in his heat.

Peterson, a volunteer MU track and field assistant, completed the race in 1 minute, 47.60 seconds. He placed 42nd in a field of 72.